National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Thursday, October 26, 2017 | 8:49am

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) urges Tennesseans to dispose of their potentially dangerous unwanted, unneeded, or expired medications this Saturday, October 28, during the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

Law enforcement agencies, anti-drug coalitions, and community leaders across the state are partnering for this special event to help people safely dispose of their unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications.  The initiative draws attention to the year-long effort to ensure medications, especially addictive opiates and pain killers, don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“When teenagers experiment with prescription pills, they’re not usually going to a drug dealer on the street.  They’re often going to the medicine cabinet and taking an old prescription that a doctor wrote for mom or dad,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams.  “Taking simple steps to properly dispose of medications and keep them out of the wrong hands is something we all can do to combat the problem of drug addiction in Tennessee.”

In recent years, Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly have supported TDMHSAS efforts to prioritize funding to increase the number of permanent drug take back boxes across the state.  Thanks to this effort, there are now 230 locations across Tennessee where people can dispose of prescription medications.

During the national drug take back event in April, Americans turned in about 900,000 pounds of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 8.1 million pounds of pills.

To find a location near you that’s participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, visit this site maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.

For more information on the permanent drug take-back boxes across Tennessee, visit this site: http://tn.gov/behavioral-health/article/Prescription-Drug-Take-Back-Boxes